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Topic: Topics Being Deleted
Message: Posted by: Gerry McCambridge (Jul 31, 2002 05:25PM)
I posted an offer for fellow mentalists to make some extra cash. Some of you are participating in the program.

Can one of the Moderators tell me why the post was deleted. I would especially love to hear from the one who deleted it.
Message: Posted by: Ray Haddad (Aug 1, 2002 06:07AM)

Maybe they wanted the gig themselves.

Message: Posted by: Gerry McCambridge (Aug 1, 2002 06:31AM)
Hey Ray,

That was my second post that was removed here. Doesn't it stink that one of the moderators feels all mighty when they hit the "DELETE" button, but they don't have the courage to step up and admit that they were the one to do it?

Message: Posted by: Darmoe (Aug 1, 2002 07:28AM)
Hey... I've been sent so many PMs for "having to edit" my comments... one "excuse" has been "so as to maintain the family safe reputation" of the forum... You'd think the puritans had taken over once again... ignoring that whole thing about Free Speech and none Censorship in this country???

But hey! We all live in our own virtual reality here in Internet Land.
Message: Posted by: Ray Haddad (Aug 1, 2002 07:41AM)

I forgot to welcome you to the Cafe. It's great to see you here.

I had one of my posts edited and one completely deleted but in both cases had full understanding sent to me by PM about the reasons.

Do you have a PM message flashing just under your name at the top of this page? It would be in red and blinking. Perhaps, as a new member, you didn't recognize that as being a Personal Message for you. That's usually where the explanations come.

Best Always,
Message: Posted by: Thoughtreader (Aug 1, 2002 08:39AM)
I have had messages removed because of someone else being deleted and as such, my replies were removed too, however, when asked about what you carry in your wallet, I replied that I have a trick in print about a card to condom (which is actually just in the packet) that I used to do in comedy clubs. It was a serious post but apparently there is a prude on the board that does not understand that there is nothing wrong with either the word "condom" nor with the context of the post.

It is funny that the ones that cry out for the need to censor are usually the only prudes that do not live in the real world nor understand the way the world really is. They also do not realize how many magicians they just might lose due to censorship, as several other boards and their moderators learned.

Censorship is acceptable when it is needed to avoid harrasment or absolutely crude language but when you are on a magic board and things are there pertaining to the art...censorship is wrong. We do exist within free countries that promote freedom of speech do we not?

PSIncerely Yours,
a very disgruntled,
Paul Alberstat
Message: Posted by: liormanor (Aug 1, 2002 09:21AM)
"I have a trick in print about a card to condom "

The problem is not the condom it is the card trick
they don't allow cards in the mentalism section.

I hope it was all a mistake with Jerry posting.
Or that he offered to much money for the help.

Lior Manor
Message: Posted by: blurr (Aug 1, 2002 09:27AM)
Be careful about what you write on this subject. I know of others who got BANNED from the cafe for expressing views like this. I would hate for that to happen to any of you.

Message: Posted by: Sir T (Aug 1, 2002 09:50AM)
I had one of my links deleted, which was in response to a question someone had asked for. The staff sent me a rather nice PM explaining why it was deleted. I did not agree 100% with the reason, but I could understand the thought behind it. The staff here has always been good about explaining the reasons for being deleted as pointed out by Ray (Hello Ray).

I would hate to see this wonderful cafe become like some many other boards, both public and private, where it becomes really nasty and mean and little good can be come of it!

On a side note, I am sorry, I missed the post about the card to condom, that sounds really funny!

Kevin :kitty:
Message: Posted by: Sniper (Aug 1, 2002 09:56AM)
It may be a case of too many cooks. There are a LOT of moderators on this board which leads to occasionally erratic officiating.

"One mans meat..."

Apologies to Paul.

As far as Gerry's posts being deleted: maybe someone is offended by his "offer" of a paltry 20 bucks for material he plans to use on television. Frankly, I'm surprised he hasn't been Flamed to ashes...

Message: Posted by: Gerry McCambridge (Aug 1, 2002 09:59AM)
My error guys. Ray was kind enough to point out the PM Message under my name. I never saw it before. The two deleted posts were explained by the moderators.

There is Censorship on this board ?? I did not know. I have an idea !!!! For all those opposed to this, give me a few days !
Message: Posted by: Caman (Aug 1, 2002 10:48AM)
What, basically, was the reason for the deletion?

Message: Posted by: ben creitz (Aug 1, 2002 11:16AM)
I second Sir T:

"I would hate to see this wonderful Cafe become like so many other boards, both public and private, where it becomes really nasty and mean and little good can be come of it!"

A lot of work goes into running this board and maintaining its "nice place to be" image. My hat is off to the people who do that work, both technically and editorially. I don't own this board, I just enjoy it!
Message: Posted by: Darmoe (Aug 1, 2002 11:27AM)
On 2002-08-01 10:27, blurr wrote:
Be careful about what you write on this subject. I know of others who got BANNED from the cafe for expressing views like this. I would hate for that to happen to any of you.



Hmmm... probably means I've be invited to leave soon. Let's face it, I have some of the most controversial opinions in mentalism and am far from being "Politically Correct"... I loathe most "fraternal orders" for various reasons (politics being one of the biggest)... in short, I don't play well with authoritarians... I mean... I don't play well with others :blush:

I know that instances have occured in which I've "hidden" profanity via the classic Sunday Morning comic strip mode e.g. @#$%, etc. leaving the appropriate first and last letters in place for said entandra... though accepted in most forums, it is far removed here. Too, I've noted an extreme sense of paranoia about law suits e.g. defamation of character type retaliation... A peculiar thing in that I've not encountered such concerns, nor heard of any kind of successful action taken agains any other net forum. In short, each individual is responsible for sharing his/her "own" opinions and, as the classic disclaimer goes IT IS NOT NESSASARILY (SP) THE OPINION OF THE STATION OR MANAGEMENT... end of story.

Said disclaimer has protected most Tv, Radio Stations and Print media for DECADES... and to my knowledge, is a given within the forum realms of the net... especially if it is stated within bi-laws, rules & regs, or whatever you want to call the "agreement & understanding" part of being a participant.

Besides, if folks think things are harsh here, they'd die if they ever got onto the Shadow Network or some of the other "you best have leather armored skin to be here" type groups... They can get vicious (but lots of fun, once you understand the candor!)


:hmm: Did I just drive the final nail into my coffin?

Perhaps... I hope not. The cafe is an excellent place of exchange and though I've exaggerrated the censorship issue in what I'm saying here, I've done so for a very important reason -- to help ALL involved (moderators and posters) to think about our "rights" for expressive freedom without censorship and perhaps, encourage them to remember historically, what happens every time such powers are abused.

One last thing... I'm not stating this in anger, regarding the handful of my posts that have been reworded or deleted. Though I find this rather "silly" (especially for reasons noted in the PMs) in the adult world or "professionals" my concern (and the reason for this soap box schpill) is that it seems to be a bit "out of hand" even by the say so and experience of others... some of whom are prime contributors.

We all need to "think about it" (I'm including myself) and find a solution other than the classic moderators action of "It's my board and if you dont' play may way, you can't play at all."

At the forum I co-moderate in such actions are of group mind and typically discussed before any action is taken... but then, we have about half as many moderators, each with limited control within their field of specialty.

Just a thought... :angel:
Message: Posted by: Caman (Aug 1, 2002 12:36PM)
Though I can appreciate your anger about being deleted or edited on a board (sort of like being 86'd from a bar after supposedly having "too many"), it's hard to totally empathize without the whole story (the exact reasons by the moderators with your exact message).

This goes the same for Gerry's post here. I would like to know what was the reason for the deletion. Obviously we could all learn something here.

Actually, I have a suspicion as to why and the moderators reasons may be grounded.

I suppose Gerry could shed some light on this as well.

Message: Posted by: Gerry McCambridge (Aug 1, 2002 01:43PM)
The Private Message that was sent to me about the Deleted watch post is as follows:

"This is to inform you that your last post on the mentalism watches has been deleted, as you revealed far too much of the methods. Remember, that is not allowed in the open forums. Please refrain from divulging methods. "

I, for one, don't think I gave away too much. This is a prop we are talking about. In order to perform the effect, you need the prop.

It is not as if, you are selling a big routine that will change your act, only to purchase it to biscover you just paid for a nail writer, and I gave away that BIG SECRET.

My post told about the Pro's and Con's of each watch.

Not my board, so you can do as you wish. I respect your authority to.
Message: Posted by: Paul (Aug 1, 2002 05:56PM)
I must xxxxx admit, I too have been xxxxxx moderated in the past but had the reasons explained and could usually understand what the xxxxx it was all about. On the plus side, the atmosphere is generally better here, and since this is the largest magic forum on the web Steve and the gang must be doing something right!!!

Message: Posted by: Darmoe (Aug 1, 2002 06:47PM)
>I notice some of the guys griping the most are the ones who are always causing trouble and the reason that those sites fold or people leave. <

I've always heard it best to "not buy into the guilt" when something like this comes about, but I do want to make it clear that, though I am very much controversial and frequently take the "Devil's" position on certain things, I've NEVER been asked to leave a forum, nor have I ever been directly "chastized" for anything I've shared. Heck, the guys from MoMM asked me to contribute to Visions :bg:

Why do I do it?

Aside form a very real personal position on certain "issues" I will frequently take an opposing side simply for the sake of a.) Learning more; b.) To help others wiegh perspectives they may not have previously taken into consideration.

The "edits" made here @ the Cafe have carried the excuse of "Family Image" and a very puritanical sense of legal paranoia (as mentioned). I'm concerned about the Censor's pen anywhere it comes into play... I'm not angry or bitter about what was removed or changed given the circumstances... just find it peculiar and waaaay outside the norm... not something I've encounter to many times any where else.

Heck, certain so-called "moderators" of noted forums are so laxed that they allow a handful of born again bullies chase off anyone that knows what they're talking about when it comes to bizarre and hard core psi work... kindof ironic when you consider that said moderator is a noted Mentalist :rolleyes:

Anywho... that's where I stand (for what it's worth.)
Message: Posted by: Ray Haddad (Aug 1, 2002 07:18PM)

Were both posts that were deleted on the same topic? I thought you had one about passing on gigs that you couldn't do.

I had one deleted yesterday because my discussion obliquely pointed to a way to circumvent a policy here. I didn't mean it that way, I was simply passing on my views on an issue and that act itself was interpreted as trying to bypass a policy.

Message: Posted by: Caman (Aug 1, 2002 09:10PM)
Now I'm totally confused!

I thought Gerry was talking about his post that was asking people to research ideas for him and that he would pay for, in fact this thread by Gerry starts:

"I posted an offer for fellow mentalists to make some extra cash. Some of you are participating in the program. Can one of the Moderators tell me why the post was deleted."

Now Gerry provided an example of a moderator's "power to delete" that has to do with "watches".

Gerry, I think you picked the wrong example.

Message: Posted by: Gerry McCambridge (Aug 1, 2002 09:35PM)

I had two posts deleted. One about watches, and one allowing other mentalists to make some extra money.

Details on the money thing are still on my site under "Mentalists Only" at http://www.mentalist.com
Message: Posted by: Burt Yaroch (Aug 1, 2002 09:39PM)
It has been said before but I think it bears repeating: [i]We are all guests here[/i] of Mr. Steve Brooks and Co.

The reason this board is the [b]best on the web[/b] is precisely because of how it is run. If you don't like how Steve's running things, send him a PM. He will always clarify his position quickly with respect and courtesy. I personally feel that it is a poor showing to be openly complaining in your hosts living room (or Cafe).

As soon as any group of 10 of you have combined to have as many deleted posts as I have had, then perhaps you can complain. :lol:

Steve, I hope I now speak for everyone here when I say you are doing a terrific job! Keep up the great work! :bigdance:
Message: Posted by: Steve Brooks (Aug 2, 2002 03:35AM)
I wanted to answer this topic myself, making sure there was no doubt in anyone's mind as to who posted this reply.

After reading the previous posts in this topic (more than once), I had to do a little soul searching, thinking about how I was going to respond. Normally, it is my policy to handle most matters behind the scenes. No sense wasting other people's time with matters that only concern a few. However, I felt it very important that this subject of censorship and staff actions be addressed for all to see.

I started [b]The Magic Cafe[/b] last September, and there were several reasons, the biggest being the lack of any sort of order on the other boards I frequented. Little cliques of thugs seemed to have more control than the so called moderators. Profanity was the norm, and common courtesy was nowhere to be found.

Did I complain? No. But I observed for a very long time. I watched in amazement, as staff and moderators would beg and plead for members to behave themselves, threads would seem to go on forever, often fighting over things I last heard about in grammar school. A lot of anger...very little magic.

But I became amused even more, as I saw posts deleted with no explanation at all, while other posts that were way out of line remained. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to any of it.

I watched in disgust as young magicians would join in the conversation, often asking simple questions like; "Where would be the best place to buy a good book on magic?"
Instead of professionals giving kind advice, and helping the next generation, I saw a huge amount of people attacking and or flaming them. This was usually done in a very cocky, arrogant and Nazi-like manner. Answers often came in the form of; "Get off this board, this is for magicians only!" or sarcastically, as in; "Can you keep a secret?...so can I".

I just could not take it anymore. I felt something had to be done. I mean, this was totally ridiculous.
I gave it some thought, and wondered how I could pull this thing off. After all, who am I? Nobody knows me, I'm not a celebrity, and I'm certainly not a rich person. On top of all that, these other boards were big...and established.
Further, many were owned and operated by some magic heavy weights. How could I possibly hope to compete?

One evening I sat down, and I started planning out this site.
I designed the graphics, the look, and the theme. I then planned out the topics, taking great care to include things I knew magicians would be interested in. In the meantime, a few folks I know got wind of my plans. They did everything possible to discourage me. If you have ever read my post signature, you know I am not a quitter. In fact, when I start a project, magic or otherwise, I pretty much have a pitbull mentality.

After the board was designed, the most important aspect of this crazy idea of mine started to take shape. You see, I decided right away, if it wasn't going to make a difference, then why bother at all? I began to formulate a philosophy, a code of conduct as it were. I knew that I would ruffle a few feathers, but that was okay. After all, there were plenty of other places that people who might not agree with my approach could go.

The theme here, is that of a Cafe or restaurant, and I often look at it the same way I would if it were really a building serving food. The members are like the customers. They come in to enjoy what our menu has to offer. My staff and I do our very best to make them feel at home. We like to treat them like family, as it were. Now we don't have a bar, so people of all ages can enter, the more the better! Let's face it, there is plenty of room.

We do our very best to help our customers enjoy the food/advice/information that we have, and make sure they have a clean table, free of garbage (profanity, rudness, etc).
Most customers like that, and a happy customer is one who will not only come back, but tell others of their experience.

Society has forgotten what the words [i]customer service[/i] really mean. I encounter the lack of it on a daily basis.
Cashiers who cannot count change, and just throw the money at you...never a smile or a 'Thank you'. The Magic Cafe was going to be different!

But as in a real restaurant, you sometimes get a few low lifes who crawl out of their holes, and decide to make their way into your establishment. You can always spot them, they never quite fit in. They have never heard of a dresscode, they are usually loud, and obnoxious. They demand much of the waitstaffs time, and offer nothing in return but grief and a dirty table.

There behavior is so bad, that if you allow them to continue enjoying your generosity and hospitality, your good customers start leaving.
You see, the customers who made your Cafe a success don't want to listen to the hecklers and drunks. That's why they come here. They count on the professionalism of our staff to handle the situation for them. And so we do.

I do not charge for membership here, I offer it as a [b]privilege[/b], not because it is a right...it's not. This is my home, and I expect folks to have the common decency to respect my rules. If I ask you not to smoke, I assume you'll respect my wishes, and smoke outside. Not ask me, "Why? I can smoke in other people's houses, what gives?"

My rules are pretty simple and straight forward, and I ask very little in return. Unfortunately, very few members have ever actually read the rules and posting guides. Take a look at the number of [b]views[/b] in those [url=http://themagiccafe.com/forums/viewforum.php?forum=39&6]forums[/url], then look at our membership numbers, I think you'll agree.

This topic is a prime example. It was posted in the mentalism area...way off topic. I moved it to the 'I want to see the manager' myself. But that's okay, my staff and I correct these kind of mistakes everyday, you just may not notice.

Is there censorship here? Of course there is. There must be some kind of order, else there will be total chaos. If you think otherwise, check out a few other magic boards and I think you'll agree. Most of our members appreciate this. Those that do not are free to leave at any time. They are not forced into coming here, yet they seem to complain the most.

Very few members have ever been banned. I am a fair person, ask anyone who knows me, I always try and do right. But I will not be pushed around in my own home or business, that's just the way it is. Pretty darn simple.
Nor will I allow others to manipulate me into doing something I know is wrong, so I ask those who think along those lines to reconsider. My stepfather had a saying; "Never bring a knife to a gunfight". I agree.

In closing, I want to thank all the wonderful people who truly make this site a great place to be. For them, as for myself, the Cafe has become a part of our daily lives. I cannot recall there being a time that the Cafe was not here, and for that I am glad.

For every complaint, I hear a dozen kudos from the members who appreciate what we do here. At conventions the big boys tell me to keep up the great work, and so I will. But I am only one person, and my staff of volunteers work countless hours each day to assure you of a great dining experience. To that end, I think they have been successful. Thanks for your time and your understanding.